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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Backfire 

That loud noise you hear is another heavy-handed, shoot-the-messenger reaction from the Harper Conservatives blowing up in their face -- chiefs from across the country are standing with Theresa Spense and against John Duncan on the Attawapiskat housing crisis:
Chiefs from across Canada, who are meeting in Ottawa this week, stood one after the other to condemn Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan for sending a third party into Attawapiskat to manage its finances after Chief Theresa Spence issued a cry for help.
Ms. Spence said she was “in shock” when the minister and his Conservative government opted to attack the accountability of Attawapiskat’s financial reporting at a time when her people are in desperate need of shelter.
“It’s very unprofessional and very rude of him to put us in third-party [management] while we are in crisis,” she told reporters. “As we speak today, the people in Attawapiskat – and it’s not just only Attawapiskat but other first nations – are living in tent frames and sheds.”
The chiefs voted unanimously in favour of a motion that calls for, among other things, first nations to stand behind Attawapiskat and its leadership and for the membership of the Assembly of First Nations to ask the United Nations to monitor Canada's actions.
Harper isn't getting very far with his blame-deflection strategy -- even the National Post is publicizing the real story.
The Tyee puts the spending issue into the larger context and points out the profound hypocrisy of the Harper Conservatives:
First Nations inmates... make up 17 per cent of the prison population though First Nations are just 2.7 per cent of the Canadian population. In effect, our prisons are just another First Nations housing program, and a very expensive one.

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